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The space between rationalism and sentimentalism: A perspective from moral development

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 September 2019

Joshua Rottman*
Department of Psychology, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA 17604.


May interprets the prevalence of non-emotional moral intuitions as indicating support for rationalism. However, research in developmental psychology indicates that the mechanisms underlying these intuitions are not always rational in nature. Specifically, automatic intuitions can emerge passively, through processes such as evolutionary preparedness and enculturation. Although these intuitions are not always emotional, they are not clearly indicative of reason.

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